Friday, March 29, 2019

Refresh your spring runs

Spring!! It's time to get off of the treadmill and onto the roads and trails.  Our friend Steph at FleetFeet West Hartford put together some great ideas to help get you off and running this season.

Spring has sprung! Knowing Connecticut, we’re probably good for one more snowstorm before spring is here to stay, but at least the snow will melt quickly!

Spring is a time to refresh and make things new again as the nature around us explodes into a verdant green. It’s also a great time to add a little flair to our training so it doesn’t get monotonous:

Run backwards. No, not physically backwards, but directionally. If you normally do a loop clockwise, switch it up and run counter-clockwise. It'll feel like an entirely different course, yet you'll be in the same comfortable surroundings.

Change your terrain. If you're a road runner, head into the woods. You'll be amazed at how peaceful it is. Plus, you won't have to fight traffic or worry about getting hit by a distracted driver. CT has miles and miles of awesome trails ranging from smooth dirt roads to climbs with roots and rocks that require you to be balanced and light on your toes. It's a combo run and core workout sure to make you stronger!

Change your workout. Do you run the same pace every time? Vary it up. Go slower, but increase your distance. Go shorter, but add some bursts of speed. Run hill repeats. Do a track workout or incorporate body-weight exercises during your run (burpees!).

Change your shoes. Worn out shoes are at the heart of many sluggish runs. If you typically get a new pair every April, but have been exercising more this winter than usual, there is a good chance your shoes are ready to be replaced. There is nothing more motivating to me than going for a run in new shoes. Soo cushy & comfy. Ahhh!

Do something different. Cross training, especially with weights, is one of the best ways to increase your strength, endurance and mobility, which can have huge benefits to your running. Fleet Feet partners with CrossFit Hartford to host a super fun “Fitness FUNdamentals” class three days a week that is designed to make you a stronger, healthier runner. The first class is free so come give it a try!

Live by the "C's": Calories, Compression & Cold. If you find yourself struggling to complete workouts, it could be because you aren’t properly recovering. Be sure to eat/drink 200-300 carb and protein-rich calories within 20 minutes at the end of your workout, donning compression shorts/tights and socks and icing sore muscles to achieve optimal recovery before your next workout.

Join a Group: Running alone has wonderful benefits, but running with a group can elevate your experience and make the run all the more fun. If you don’t already have a posse of peeps, check out the options offered by your favorite local running shop. Both Fleet Feet and SoundRunner offer free weekly runs and training programs to keep you motivated all spring long!